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What I read in June 2018 (Part 2)

A publisher I follow on Twitter put out an appeal for people to buy books. I had a look through the catalogue and selected two books, which looked interesting. They were novels by women. They were light reading. I found them interesting, but wouldn’t be inclined to read any more by either author. This is a matter of personal taste. There was some very good writing, especially in the first book, A Place to Stop by Susan Wicks. I found the ending unsatisfactory. It was ambiguous (unless I failed to understand it). I like all the ends tied up neatly. (The books arrived with a hand-written note on a postcard, which was a lovely personal touch.)

The second book was He Wants by Alison Moore. The plot here was more structured than the other book. Lady Chatterley’s Lover (which I have not read) was referred to in the book, which includes similar subject matter. There was an episode, in which some people went to a Billy Graham crusade meeting. This seemed to be written from the point of view of an onlooker rather than a person, who was involved and committed. It didn’t appear to make any lasting difference to the characters in the story. This does not reflect the experiences of people I know. A bookshop proprietor I follow on Twitter had recommended the author.

The third book of this group is the only one I would recommend to other people. I found it in the library at Scargill House. I had seen the series recommended by a different publisher I follow on social media. It is a book for girls of secondary school age. Beech Bank Girls: Every girl has a story by Eleanor Watkins uses fiction to highlight many issues, which affect young people in the modern world. This book is well-written in a style accessible to the target readership. I managed to read it from cover to cover in the free time over the weekend. I have already recommended it as ideal for the only girl I know in the age group for which it was written. I reviewed another book by Eleanor Watkins here.

Beech Bank Girls

I can now say that there will be two more posts in this series, making four in total.

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Why it is good to meet up with other writers

Last weekend I attended a writers’ conference. The main theme was short story writing.

The weather was perfect – dry but not too hot. There was plenty of good food, beautiful scenery, birds to watch and more besides.

The speakers and most of those attending the sessions are members of the Association of Christian Writers (ACW), which has a new website. There is a link to its daily blog to which I contribute seven times a year.

The first time I attended one of these weekends I wrote a post about how over-stimulated I was afterwards. Now that I have met many of the people before, it is not so overwhelming. They are the sort of people with whom one resumes a friendship as if we met more frequently. The phrase, picking up where we left off, springs to mind. Quite a few of us keep in touch on Facebook.

I had been feeling short of writing inspiration and enthusiasm for blogging before I went. The writing exercises and conversations with other people helped me write a short story and two poems on the Saturday. I also decided what to write about for my next More than Writers blog post.

Because I was still bruised from a fall in our garden over a week earlier, I didn’t venture on a long walk on the Saturday afternoon, but stayed in, putting a few pieces in a jigsaw puzzle. It had only been started by our group and had 1000 pieces. The usual comment from passers-by was, “Have you finished it yet?”

I also borrowed a children’s book from the library at Scargill House and read it from cover to cover during the weekend. My next post here should be about books. I have been reading more than writing this month.

The weekend ended with a service of Holy Communion in the beautiful chapel and Sunday lunch. The leaders gave the talk in the service, encouraging us in life as well as in writing.

 

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Reflections on the A to Z Challenge 2018

My theme for the Blogging from A to Z in April Challenge this year was careers and occupations. I had all my posts written and scheduled before the end of March as I was going away for at Easter and the challenge began on Easter Sunday. Because of this I missed adding my early posts to the daily lists, but I don’t think that affected the number of views. I had linked up with a few participants on Twitter using the Master list, which I found helpful. There were not as many signed up this year as in the last few years. I wonder whether that is partly due to blogging being less popular generally.

Reflections in a beck

Reflections in a beck

I had time to visit quite a few blogs. The list below is not complete, but these were the ones I found the most interesting. Because I missed the beginning of the challenge, there are others, I’d have liked to keep up with, which I have yet to visit. One is a haiku puzzle, another is French phrases. I haven’t caught up with Hilary’s blog about Canada either. It is harder work to read about unfamiliar places, than about those nearer home. http://positiveletters.blogspot.co.uk/2018/03/theme-reveal-aspects-of-british-girl-in.html

http://dustingthesoul.com/ A to Z about Lewis Carroll’s books Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass (favourites of mine)

http://mainelywrite.blogspot.co.uk/ poems inspired by Maine vanity plates (car registration plates) by Donna JT Smith

http://quagmire53.blogspot.co.uk/  April Hoeller with lots of lovely photos.

https://scr4pl80.wordpress.com/2018/03/19/ Janet’s smiles – a blog I discovered after the Q post invited us to share our links. I commented that mine ‘might put a smile on your face’ and Janet visited. Like me she enjoys craft and her posts are about a large shop crafters would enjoy.

https://bobscotney.blogspot.co.uk/ a veteran A to Zer, who chose British rivers this time.

https://stephenyhoughtlin.com/ Bookshops

http://artistpath.wordpress.com/ two words and a poem by Sue Viseth

https://lynnelives.wordpress.com/ sketching Peterborough Cathedral. I have followed Lynne through earlier A to Zs.

https://tossingitout.blogspot.com/ The blog of the A to Z founder, Arlee Bird. This time about decluttering or not!

https://auntyamo.com/ A member of the Association of Christian Writers looking at Christian fiction. Although she hasn’t had time to complete every letter, her blog is still worth visiting.

https://theartistsdate.blogspot.co.uk/ A to U of Art Journalling by Zannie

https://lapidaryprose.wordpress.com/ Women writers (some better known than others)

http://jemimapett.com/blog/ inspiration for her writing

http://www.su-sieeemac.com/ commented on my blog towards the end of the challenge. Her theme is similar to mine, but her context is different.

https://evelyneholingue.com/ French phrases

https://wordwacker.wordpress.com/ Haiku puzzles

Thanks once again to Arlee Bird for inventing this challenge and finding the time to visit and comment, also to Damyanti Biswas and others for their encouragement on G+ and J Lenni Dorner for retweets. http://www.damyantiwrites.com/ http://jlennidornerblog.what-are-they.com/ and to John Horton for the WordPress simulcast and ironing out technical problems with that and Facebook. https://thesoundofonehandtyping.wordpress.com/ and to Jeremy for the badges http://www.beingretro.com/

Thanks also to the A to Zers and other blogging friends, who visited Sue’s Trifles and liked, rated or commented on posts.

Also to those, who linked to this blog or a specific post including https://nikisthoughts.wordpress.com/2018/05/04/meet-greet-a-z-challenge-edition-2/ and http://mrsdashsayss.blogspot.co.uk/2018/05/tontwi-to-z-survivor.html

One disappointment was that no clicks to Bible Gateway were recorded in my WordPress stats.